So if you missed my photography exhibition that was part of this years Liverpool Design Festival, here's the whole thing in a rather large nut shell.
This post contains all of the fashion images displayed, the poloroid portraits of each designer, the behind the scenes video shot on my trusty Iphone (above) and the experimental video instillation that was projected on the wall at the space (at the bottom of the post).
The exhibition was a salute to the amazing design talent Liverpool has to offer. Next to each of their pictures and some of the designers mannequins were the answers to the following questions.
*Describe your company, products and brand ethos.
*Tell us the brief history of your company?
*Tell us few of your greatest achievements?
The exhibition brief Quotes;
‘This curious insight into the world of fashion outside of a capital city, shows how a small industry can still make a big impact.’
Whats your opinion on this?
It's a great insight into the pleasures and perils of staying outside the capital to pursue a career in fashion....
Click on any image to enlarge!
British Hair Dresser of the year Nominee.
“I’ve recently moved into vintage inspired fetish wear although I might be more known for my tailored women’s wear. I’m inspired by the likes of Dita Von Teese and 40’s and 50’s film stars.
After graduating I began making tailored women’s wear and sophisticated evening wear, but I have found a market to support my first love in fashion: Fetish wear.
I wore one of my collection pieces at a Berlin sex club and the reception I received is one of my greatest memories.
I think Liverpool is underrated as a city, as outsiders perceive Liverpool fashion to be all about wags, however there is so much more diversity. It’s been harder in Liverpool for me as my target market is spread out.
I don’t think I need to leave as I am soon to stock online."
Lorraine Taylor of Booby Trapp Corsets.
“Booby Trapp Corsets offer a fabulous range of traditionally made bespoke, steel boned corsetry. Uniquely, all corsets purchased from Booby Trapp Corsets are made to order. Our corsets are stunning versatile creations that can be worn for many occasions by so many different clients. We are proud of our 100% made in England brand ethos.
Our brand was created in 2002. Since this date time we have seen the massive evolvement and increase in choice available on the high street with cheap imports. Despite this, corset purchasing requires the personal touch with a product knowledge. High street replicas just cannot emulate the expertise that we are proud to offer.
Greatest achievements in business are the number of happy clients and repeat clients. Along with this, the completion of an ecommerce website and corseting burlesque star Kitty Bang Bang for the first burlesque show in Milan.
To comment on Liverpool style as a whole would be wrong of us. We believe in freedom of expression and wearing what flatters you and enhances your confidence. Wearing an item because it is in fashion does not make it 'right' to wear it.
There are many retailers out there that would tell a customer something looks great, even when it doesn't just to get the money in their till. This is not right.
There are elements of 'Liverpool' style that are fabulous, and there are elements that are not. But this can be applied to all fashion capitals of the world depending on peoples taste and budget.
It will be interesting to see people’s opinions of fashion outside the capital. We believe that small industry can and does make a big impact and we should strive to support home grown talent and manufacturing.”
"My brand is: exotic, decadent, affordable but very sort after. It's an eclectic collection of hand made and world wide sourced jewellery.
Four years ago I started in the heritage market, then moved in to Grand Central in the city centre and now I am a well-established fashion and jewellery designer in the Met Quarter. I’ve recently been snapped up by asos.com, Europe's largest online fashion boutique.
Seeing my work on the likes of GMTV and the X Factor makes me feel like all the hard work has paid off.
Liverpool is definitely harder but the stronger designers get noticed. It's tougher but makes you work harder. It's not given to you on a plate. Liverpool has been a great starting point for me. I'm so great full for loyal costumers.
The adventurous style of Liverpool women has let me more creative and outrageous with my designs, they're always willing to experiment and stand out."
Sara Li-Chou Han.
"As a fashion industry professional I gained experience in styling and PR before starting a recycled clothing brand and continuing my freelance styling work, were I created high end fashion and lifestyle images for a wide variety of fashion, commercial and editorial clients.
I also run workshops insustainable fashion with CUTS in Liverpool and Spearfish in Manchester.
Previous to this I completed courses at John Moores University and Liverpool Community College in Fashion Design, and in Garment Manufacture, for an advanced knowledge of trend research, pattern cutting, garment manufacture and textiles, with skills directly transferable to starting a fashion industry business.
The ‘Trashed Couture’ recycled garments I produce are made to measure especially for each client.
Although I am now based in Manchester this has been a relatively recent move and I have grown to love Liverpool, having lived there for nearly a decade. The city is a great place for meeting like-minded creative people on a mission to change the industries they work in. Manchester is the next step on a creative journey for me which is deeply rooted in the creative communities of Liverpool."
“The Kirsty Doyle brand is just over one year old in retail but just over five years as a design brand. My greatest achievement is my new Liverpool one store.
I’m proud to stand alongside aspirational brands and represent local design talent.
I think there should be less divide between North and South and we should be encouraged to work together on projects.
I am keen to keep my base in Liverpool but to expand nationally, I proud I started in Liverpool a city that is good at giving great support.”
Matthew Moore from Modern Love.
"I’m a product and T-shirt designer. My fashion label is a contrast of bold graphics with subtle romantic influence. I'm stocked in Liberty's of London. My clothes are sweatshop free and all made in UK.
I've been designing products since 2007 but crossed paths with fashion recently. I love strong graphics and print so T-shirts are the obvious way of expressing and realising my ideas.
The good thing about Liverpool is that the creative industry is so close knit. There's always opportunity to collaborate, and share ideas but deciding to live here has made me have to work a lot harder to get my clothes stocked in such a big boutique like Liberty's."
"I would describe myself as an 'Artistic Headwear Designer' who's work is quirky and original. Made from vintage and contemporary materials, the headwear reflects the wearer’s persona. My ethos is simply to create innovative designs solutions because after all you were born an original, so why change?
I’ve been involved in the fashion industry for years. However, it's been in the past 5 years that I have become established as a unique brand, often recognised for my couture pieces. My headwear has featured in Vogue magazine and regularly secure press coverage from the fashion shows that I take part in. At present I have concessions within: Make Dressmaker and Boudoir Boutique and have just secured 2 new boutiques, which I will be launching in soon. With a forthcoming collaboration with singer Candy Paine already planned in for Spring/Summer 2011. I think next year could be the year when things really take off.
Liverpool's really got it going at the minute, with so many talented designers and fashionable people, I think we've finally broke the mould of the stereotypical image that Liverpool was once renown for. It’s a trend setting city and a very exciting place to be in right now."
Phillip Armstrong and Tony Burke.
“We are the design collaboration behind the label Phillip Armstrong. We aim to have a unique style with a cutting edge focus on cut and detail that helps get us high acclaim from the fashion press.
The past eighteen months have been amazing for the growth of our brand. Even the week before the picture featured in this exhibition was taken we have seen our dresses worn by the likes of Sarah Harding and X Factor judge Dannii Minogue.
With the help of our custom made service for clients that require perfectly fitted pieces with luxurious fabrics we have been able to keep our base in Liverpool while still being able to hit a nation wide audience.”
"I design hand painted fabrics, coats and dresses. I like creative pattern cutting, which is inspired by Japanese product design. I'm supply all over the UK and my website is going live this December.
I've been professionally designing for nearly 3 years before this I was working for Luella doing work experience. My future plans are to work together with my husband Andrew Holmes and he will be in charge of painting textiles and developing prints.
My greatest achievement was making a shirt for Kate Moss while at Luella.
Unfortunately there is not a good enough underground scene in Liverpool so my aim is to try and up that scene by avoiding the copycats and nurturing individuality. I worked harder in Liverpool as I don't follow the crowd. However, there's nothing like a good challenge."
Natalie Love Diggle.
‘I am a Textile Designer and I also make fabrics for old furniture.
I graduated in textile design at the Manchester and have been busy making my website. email@example.com
Working for myself has become my greatest achievement as well as creating the work for the picture featured in the exhibition. It turned exactly how I wanted it.
At the minute there is a good underground scene but you really have to look for it. You can only go so far in Liverpool and it’s given a great start but when the time comes to move on I will. The fashion is getting a lot better more quirky and cooler and people starting to producing trends rather than steal them."
Debbie Bogg of Lola Loves.
"Lola Loves is a boutique in Cavern Walks shopping centre, as well as a luxurious fashion label. We are fairly new to the fashion world but already have a host of devotees to the brand. We are recognised for: flirty, cool and colourful designs. Think structured ruffles, bows and frills in every mouth-watering shade imaginable and in fabrics from silks to spots with attention to detail being paramount.
The best part of living and having my label in Liverpool is because it's a small community it's easier to build your client base. In London you can get lost in the competition and it's about who you know, not always about what you know.
I've been able to build my brand at a steady pace and I now look forward to more success with my website. Soon I will also be stocking my designs in boutiques outside the city."
Helen Hope from Hope and Winkle.
"I'm a hand made jewellery designer, my brand is inspired by English heritage. I started in October last year before that I was selling at local markets. In the past I've also worked as a children's wear designer.
Getting through my first year has been an achievement for me, especially with the recession. I've been featured Vogue and nominated for Avanta award.
I lived in London for two and half years but in Liverpool you get a better brand loyalty and get the chance to get to know your costumers better. However, there is more competition because it's a small city.
It's easier to set up a business, cost wise which gives me the opportunity to experiment running a company with out the risks of higher rental."
"After graduating from JMU in 2006 I got an design job as an assistant at Warehouse. I stayed there for just under two years, then I moved to asos.com were I am designing skirts and working on our premium & specialist departments: Asos black, Asos white and Asos Africa.
I always thought that if you wanted to succeed as a designer, you had to move to London and although most British companies are based in 'the big smoke' Liverpool is getting bigger and bigger on the fashion front. Hopefully in a few years there will be more fashion companies in the city."
Clare Wilson and Nina Halliwell of Nook and Willow.
“At Nook and Willow our policy is to create beautiful leather handbags and accessories, which are not only hand made but are unique one-off and original.
Nook and Willow was formed in 2004 as a result of the fashion accessories market being flooded with carbon-copied unimaginative mass produced design.
Being on the back of Grazia magazines goodie bag give-away has been one of the biggest highlights of our company so far.
We are passionate about staying in Liverpool as we are trying to build a pool of creative talent in the city so that up and coming designers will be able to benefit and learn from each other. We see no reason why we should be based anywhere else even if we want to sell nationally. With today’s technology it is possible to build your brand from anywhere. Liverpool now needs to concentrate on being taken more seriously as a credible base for designers and trend setters.”
"In addition to the work in the exhibition Matt has explored the concept of moving images used in modern fashion media."
By mixing filming techniques reminiscent of the early 20th century and experimental digitalized editing this series of short clips develop on the idea that fashion will always be a little bit of history repeated.
One edit will be posted directly to the Internet. “This is the direction of fashion today and the relevant way to show the piece.” An alternative edit will also be shown here at the space for the duration.
Director Matt Ford.
Editor Laura Scott.
Editor Laura Scott.
Corset by Booby Trapp Corsets.
Burlesque performed by Millie Dollar.
Hair and Make-up concept by Hannah Ellen.
Track composed by Matt Ford. Additional piano performed by Stuart Williams.